Alameda County’s Measure C for child care scores legal win


OAKLAND — An Alameda County judge has dominated that 2020’s Evaluate C — a fifty percent-cent profits tax evaluate that would provide $150 million per year for pediatric well being care, early education and learning systems and inexpensive child treatment — can go into impact, following two decades of legal debate.

On the other hand, opponents of the Alameda County evaluate say they intend to attraction the selection, and an enchantment could continue to keep the tax dollars from getting spent. The tax has been gathered because very last July, but the funds are currently being held in escrow pending the consequence of the authorized obstacle, in accordance to county reviews.

Initial 5 Alameda County, which would administer the funds from the tax, indicated it is prepared to move ahead.

“As a culture, we have failed to entirely fund early care and schooling for a long time to the detriment of providers, the workforce, and family members,” Kristin Spanos, chief government officer of Initially 5 Alameda County, stated in a assertion Thursday.

“The pandemic has built the problems even far more acute and worsened inequities that have harmed very low-money and people of color for also very long. These general public means are essential now much more than at any time to support and bolster our county’s early childhood technique, specifically with an equity lens,” Spanos explained.

In a ruling issued Wednesday, Alameda County Excellent Courtroom Decide Jeffrey Model turned down the arguments of the Alameda County Taxpayers Association, which experienced challenged the validity of the measure.

The evaluate passed in the March 2020 most important election with about 64.35% of the vote, according to the county registrar.

Despite the fact that the evaluate was headed up by recent Alameda County Supervisor Dave Brown — who at the time was the main of workers for the late Supervisor Wilma Chan — it was regarded as a citizens initiative, only set on the ballot right after plenty of signatures were being collected in assist of it.

Alameda County officers argued that mainly because it was a citizens initiative, it only required a easy the greater part vote to pass, which it far surpassed.

But the taxpayers association, represented by attorney Jason Bezis, sued the county, arguing that the evaluate must have been expected to get a two-thirds bulk in buy to pass, as it is correctly a ballot evaluate propped up by the county government. State law needs tax actions proposed by governments to fulfill that threshold.

“The principal officer of the marketing campaign was Dave Brown, Wilma Chan’s chief of staff members. So is this definitely a citizens initiative or is this county-orchestrated initiative?” Bezis reported Thursday in an job interview.

Bezis stated the county experienced tried using to move a very similar early education and learning and little one treatment measure in 2018, identified as Evaluate A, but it failed with no two-thirds help.

Bezis contends the county, in purchase to move Measure C, “struck a deal with Children’s Medical center Oakland” to set up over $1 million to again the signature-gathering initiative and the ballot evaluate, with the comprehension that the medical center would get 20% of the proceeds from the evaluate for pediatric wellbeing care when it passed.

“Because the county was so deeply involved with this so-termed voter initiative, it need to be subjected to the two-third threshold,” Bezis mentioned.

He mentioned his clients will attraction the decision.

“This signifies that as extensive as this appeal is pending, Evaluate C funds are not going to be produced to the systems,” he stated.

In part since of Evaluate C, Alameda County now has the highest base tax rate of any county in the point out, 10.25%, Bezis explained. A lot of towns in the county have even increased costs, up to 10.75%.

“The intention of this scenario is to invalidate (the evaluate) and refund the income that has been gathered,” Bezis stated.

Supervisor Brown did not answer to a ask for for remark, nor did attorneys for the county.


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